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Thoughtful Giving Newsletter of the Northern New York Community Foundation

Your Community. Your Foundation.

The potential of a community foundation is limited only by the passions and dreams of donors (and some planning)


ust as a community foundation has a responsibility to represent and reflect the community it was chartered to serve, so, too, must it provide individualized, effective approaches to giving. Philanthropy is not a “one size fits all” proposition. The Northern New York Community Foundation is probably most known for the wonderful history of grants and scholarships that have been placed back into the community over the past 80 years. Indeed, the Foundation has invested millions of dollars in the people and places of Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. However, a very important part of our mission is the unique offering of services we provide to donors. Through the years, individuals, families, businesses and organizations have turned to the Foundation to help them fulfill their charitable intentions in the most effective, efficient and lasting way possible. The theme of the 2009-2010 report to the community will be “Leading by Example.” It will take a look back at the ways the Foundation, through the generosity of its donors, has led by example over the last several decades. One of the organizations being highlighted is Watertown’s Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library. The Foundation provided a $100,000 grant in 1965 for their addition project and $250,000 in 2004 for building renovations. While

Marion P. and DeForest H. Smith’s planned gift legacy means that, through the Community Foundation, organizations they cared about continue to receive support even though they are no longer able to express it personally.

Photograph by Justin Sorensen

In addition to over $400,000 in grants, the Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library also receives annual support from a fund created by Foundation donors DeForest H. and Marion P. Smith. Pictured at the Library are Maxine Quigg, president of the library’s board of trustees, and William Couch, who served on the Foundation board from 1967-1985.

these are two instances of the Foundation leading by example, our donors have demonstrated that same spirit. In 1997, Watertown resident Marion P. Smith, established a charitable gift annuity with the Foundation, whereby she received a fixed annual return which provided her with guaranteed income for life, while also benefiting the community. Her husband, DeForest H. Smith, a native of Chippewa Bay and a New York Air Brake retiree, had passed away eight years before. As part of her legacy planning, two separate funds were created from the remainder of the gift annuity to provide ongoing support to the library and Hospice of Jefferson County, in perpetuity. Each year, these organizations receive a percentage of the value of the DeForest H. & Marion P. Smith Fund. Over the last several years, the fund has provided over $100,000 in annual support between the Library and Hospice. Both of these organizations were clearly important to the Smiths, and

they realized the benefit of entrusting the stewardship of their gift with the Foundation. Not only does the Smith’s fund continue to support two of their favorite charities, but it also continues to grow, meaning more will be available each year, permanently. As the community’s endowment, that is what we are engineered to do. Other donors have created funds to benefit particular geographic areas or support specific causes they believed passionately in. So, there are many ways to lead by example, and it can be done both collectively and individually. The Smiths proved that. What are your dreams? What are your passions? My guess is you don’t need any help from us to decide that. However, if you find that you have a desire to express your giving in support of those passions and dreams, we are here to help you do that as we have over the last 80 years, now and forever.

your passion, your dream “I recognize that annual gifts from the community are in important part of making the Foundation’s work possible.” Many donors choose to make gifts to the Foundation annually or by making periodic contributions of any size to support the Foundation’s programs. This allows the donor to express their support of the Foundation’s mission and goes immediately to work to advance it. Donors become “Friends of the Foundation,” recognized in our publications. Gifts are also sometimes made in memory or honor of a special person or an occasion in one’s life.

“I want to benefit the community on a permanent basis, either while I am living or after I am no longer able to impact the region personally, or a combination of the two.” Establishing a named community fund provides maximum flexibility. Through competitive grants, this allows the Foundation to address the changing needs of the community, many which often cannot be anticipated at the time a fund is established. The choice of this type of fund allows the donor to have a lasting impact on the broader community. It can be established while the donor is living and added to as part of estate planning, or be done solely through a provision in a will. Community grants will be made in the donor’s name in perpetuity.

“I want to help students who are pursuing their higher educational dreams.” Named scholarship funds can be established which are very broad in nature, or designed to support a specific school district, college, or field of study. They allow donors the opportunity to honor a friend or loved one or express their personal interest in supporting education. Scholarships are a very powerful way to have a permanent impact on residents of the North Country. Like other types of funds, they can be established while the donor is living, added to through an estate, or a combination of the two.

“I want to support an area of particular interest to me (education, the arts, health care, environment, services for children, etc.) on a regular basis, either now or after my death.” A named field-of-interest fund, established during one’s lifetime or through an estate, ensures permanent support for a special area of interest while allowing flexibility for the future. Grants are then awarded regularly, in the name of the fund.

“I want to support a particular region, county, city, town or village.” Another type of field-of-interest fund allows the donor to make sure that grants from their named fund are awarded periodically to support a specific geographic area. That way, no matter what the future needs are, there will be a fund to help address them in the specific region that is most important to the donor. Grants will forever be made to that specific community, in the donor’s name.

“I have always supported a particular organization and want to make sure that my support of that organization continues after I am gone.” A named designated fund allows a donor to specify one or more charitable organization that will receive ongoing support in perpetuity. A fund can be created now or through a bequest in a will. Each year, the organization(s) you’ve specified will receive an annual distribution from your fund as it continues to grow.

“I would like to benefit the Foundation and, at the same time, receive a regular, predictable, source of income.” By establishing a charitable gift annuity, in exchange for a gift of cash or stock, you would receive a guaranteed, fixed annual payment for life with a return as high as 8%. When the annuity terminates, the unused portion of the gift remains with the Foundation as a permanent fund, either to support the Foundation’s general grantmaking or to establish any of the types of named funds described previously. It is an ideal way to help provide for your future and the Foundation’s.


he relationship with the Foundation is very important to me. I have both a charitable gift annuity and a donor advised fund. The annuity is a comforting, consistent investment and provides a very reasonable return. The donor advised fund helps me realize my annual giving goals while providing me with an additional layer of oversight.”

-Mary Colton, Canton

“I own a business and would like to find a more thoughtful way of making annual gifts to organizations.” A named business donor advised fund offers flexibility and convenience. This is especially useful for those who wish to take a charitable deduction one year and make distributions over several years. It also allows you to pool resources over multiple years to make larger charitable gifts to organizations.

“We are considering forming a private foundation.” If you are considering a private foundation, a fund at the Community Foundation can essentially serve as that vehicle and, at the same time, provide administrative and tax savings. It also provides more flexibility by avoiding a minimum annual payout. Overall, it allows more focus on supporting the

Human Services • Health & Wellness • Education • Families Recreation • History • Civic Engagement & Community De

To discuss any of the charitable objectives listed above, or customize your own fund, c

ms, your legacy causes you care about most and less time, energy and expense spent on administration. Because the Community Foundation is a public charity, the taxation of gifts to donor advised funds is more favorable than for gifts to private foundations.

“My business or organization would like to award scholarships, but doesn’t have the time or expertise to initiate its own scholarship program.” Your organization or business can create its own scholarship fund without duplicating the infrastructure to administer it. This allows an organization or business of any size to establish its own named scholarship fund without the time and expense normally required to accomplish it.

“I want to set aside a portion of funds each year for charitable giving, and decide over time what organizations and initiatives I want to support.” Named donor advised funds are an efficient vehicle to accomplish your charitable giving. It allows you to make your gift at a time that is best for you and then make gifts from the fund when you are ready, at a time most beneficial for the organization or project you want to assist.

“Our organization has received, or would like to receive, gifts in support of an endowment.” A nonprofit organization or school that wishes to transfer all or part of its endowment to the Foundation to create a designated agency fund can help reduce administrative challenges and position itself for growth. These funds provide an additional, reliable revenue source to your organization. This partnership brings economies of scale, expertise and reduced fund management costs. Nonprofit funds allow an organization to focus greater energy on its mission. Nonprofit funds also help provide an additional level of assurance to future donors that money given for endowment will be used exclusively for that purpose, administered with an additional layer of stewardship.

Your Community. Your Foundation. Since 1929, thousands of people like you have chosen to give to causes they care about through the Northern New York Community Foundation. The benefits of giving at the Community Foundation include: Local management, flexibility, permanence, charitable impact, economies of scale and maximum tax advantages. Although community needs and organizations will change, funds that are entrusted with the Northern New York Community Foundation will be held in your name forever. Gifts to the Northern New York Community Foundation come in all shapes and sizes. Cash, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, 401K and IRA accounts and real estate are all assets that can be used to establish charitable funds. Whatever the asset, each and every gift is an important contribution to the work of the Community Foundation.

Charitable Bequests Gifts provided through wills or trusts have become the foundation of the American philanthropic tradition. Such gifts enable you to make significant, lasting contributions that may not have been possible during your lifetime. When you remember the Community Foundation in your will, you can give a specific dollar amount or a percentage of your estate. You may also give a remainder of your estate after bequests to friends and family.


s a business owner with clientele primarily in St. Lawrence and Jefferson counties, I feel obligated to support the many worthy causes throughout our region. This is sometimes a difficult process as there are so many commendable organizations, that we often feel we are spreading our resources too thin and that we cannot support everyone who asks for our help. That is why we have become involved with the Northern New York Community Foundation. We feel that our contributions to the Foundation are one of our best resources to make an impact on a large and diversified variety of organizations. We also like the fact we can commit to a specific need either though a personal fund or through an existing fund and have the ability to customize our contributions to our favorite interests. The Community Foundation is a leader in the support of scholarships and education, health and human services, and a wide variety of community based groups throughout the North Country. By committing to this organization we feel confident our money will be spent within our local communities and will have the leadership of local people that have the future of Northern New York as their top priority.”

-Robert Reddick, Gouverneur

es • Children • Youth • Adults • Arts, Culture & Humanities y Development • Environment & Animals • Quality of Life

nd, contact the Foundation at (315) 782-7110 or visit us online at

Foundation Welcomes Board Members


acquelyn A. Schell has been active in various community organizations for many years, including the North Country Children’s Clinic and WPBS and was instrumental in establishing Watertown’s Sci-Tech Center. She is also a member of the Herring College Memorial Trust board. A graduate of Ithaca College, Jacki has worked as a speech therapist in Washington, D.C. and Watertown. She also served on the Watertown City School District Board of Education from 1983 to 1998. She and her husband, Michael, reside in Chaumont and have five grown daughters.


tephen J. Todd is the assistant superintendent for instruction at St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES, headquartered in Canton. From 1994 to 2003, he was a social studies teacher for the Watertown City School District and served as principal of Watertown High School from 2008 to 2010. Steve is a graduate of St. Lawrence University and serves as an officer on their alumni executive council. He also remains active in Rotary and was instrumental in assisting the Foundation in establishing its Youth Philanthropy Council. The Foundation expresses its gratitude for the years of service of retiring board members Catherine Burns Quencer and Peter Van de Water. Both Cathy and Peter plan to remain involved with the Foundation’s various committees. In the Foundation’s 1995 annual report, then board president Lee Hirschey spoke of the importance of expanding committee membership to include community members who are experts in their particular fields. Consequently, committees can most effectively review grant requests. Continuing in that tradition, we welcome Maxine Quigg, Peggy Ryan, Ruth Seaman, Susan Sovie, Peter Whitmore and Kathy Wyckoff to our committees.

St. Lawrence County Advisory Committee Meets


ormed in 2010, the St. Lawrence County Advisory Committee meets at least twice a year to review grant proposals for that part of the Foundation’s service area. The committee met on April 7 to begin the process of prioritizing requests. Members of the committee are: Chris Angus (Canton), Pete Beekman (Canton), Mike Burgess (Gouverneur), Tom Burns (Canton), Sal Cania (Hannawa Falls), Chuck Goolden (Colton), Fred Hanss (Potsdam), Joe Laurenza (Gouverneur), Sally Palao (Ogdensburg), Tom Patterson (Ogdensburg), Peter Van de Water (Canton), John Vose (Canton), and Kathy Wyckoff (Canton). This diverse group is a tremendous resource as the Foundation continues to expand its work in St. Lawrence county.

FOUNDATION GRANTS 1st Quarter 2011 Dexter Historical Society

• $10,000 Matching grant to assist with critical building repairs.

Historical Society of South Jefferson

• $10,000 To help with roof repairs at the Ripley House Museum.

Family Counseling Service of NNY

• $7,020 To purchase client management software and hardware.

Railway Historical Society of NNY

• $5,000 Towards the restoration of their building in Croghan.

Thousand Islands Arts Center

• $5,000 To purchase a digital kiosk to display their textile collection to visitors (made possible through funds provided by the Herring College Memorial Trust).

City of Watertown

• $3,700 To plant 40 trees at various City locations (made possible through funds provided by the Carolyn Whitney Fund).

South Jefferson Central School District

• $3,000 To complete a photograph archival project that will make historic photo collections available at two school districts,seven libraries and three historical societies (made possible through funds provided by the Herring College Memorial Trust).

Ontario Bays Initiative

• $2,100 To assist with developing a comprehensive stewardship plan for the conservation of a 180-acre parcel in the Town of Brownville.

Total First Quarter................$45,820 Remaining grant application deadlines August 26 and October 21, 2011

YOUR GRANTS AT WORK: Investments in Arts, Culture, Community North Country Arts Council


he North Country Arts Council recently received a $10,000 matching grant from the Foundation to assist them in establishing an arts center. The newly opened center, located in Downtown Watertown, held a “Pisanki” class in April. Children had the opportunity to learn about and experience the art of European egg painting. Teacher Marie Rainbolt talked about the traditions and culture of the art form. She also brought in ideas about geography and earth science, to help the students understand the timing, seasonally, for where Easter hits on the calendar. Artist Ursula Mickle then led them through the process of designing and painting their eggs.

Orchestra of Northern New York, Beaver River Central School, TIPAF at the Clayton Opera House


he Foundation provided a grant to help bring the Potsdam-based Orchestra of Northern New York to Beaver River Central School for its “Sounds of the Cinema” performance on March 18. The musicians, conducted by Kenneth Andrews, performed familiar pieces from film soundtracks, including Exodus, Jaws, Jurassic Park, and Star Wars. As a special treat, Beaver River student Lillia Woolschlager, the winner of the Orchestra’s Young Artist Instrumental Competition, performed a Mozart Piano Concerto that evening. The Orchestra will also perform at the Clayton Opera House on June 30. That concert, “Out of This World!” is made possible through the Foundation’s Sidney T. Cox Memorial Fund and will feature selections from Star Wars, Apollo 13, Star Trek, Superman, and more.

The River Fund


Growing a permanent charitable resource for the River communities

verett G. Foster had a long affiliation with the Northern New York Community Foundation, including serving as a member of its board from 1985 to 1995. Many organizations benefited from Rett’s commitment and passion for enhancing the quality of life for the residents of the North Country. Upon his death in 2010, his family was looking for a way to honor and perpetuate the legacy of giving that symbolized his life’s work, but also to provide a permanent fund administered by the Foundation to benefit organizations of the River communities. Many generous gifts have been made to provide initial funding for this initiative. As the fund continues to grow, it has great potential to positively impact an area of Northern New York that holds great meaning for many. Most recently, memorial gifts were received to recognize Morse Dial’s legacy. We thank all who have contributed to the fund. Additional gifts to help grow the fund can be made to the Northern New York Community Foundation, 120 Washington St., Suite 400, Watertown, NY 13601. We hope you will consider joining the Foster and Dial families in building this permanent resource for River communities.

North Country Public Radio Project Completed


orth Country Public Radio turned on a new transmitter on February 17. The transmitter is located between the villages of Gouverneur and Antwerp and operates at 90.5 FM. The project was made possible, in part, through a $45,000 grant from the Foundation’s A. Eleanor Jackson Fund, a geographicspecific fund established NCPR’s station manager Ellen Rocco (left) and “Radio Bob” through a bequest from Ms. Sauter (right) join Foundation director Rande Richardson Jackson’s estate. Her fund will in launching the new frequency at the transmitter site near Gouverneur on February 17, 2011. provide funding for projects in the Gouverneur area in perpetuity. Station manager, Ellen Rocco commented, “Thanks to the generosity of the Foundation, this transmitter will provide a strong, reliable signal to residents from just north of Watertown to just north of Gouverneur and all the way over to the St. Lawrence River.”

Charitable Gift Annuities A Way to Provide for Your Future and the Foundation’s Through the Northern New York Community Foundation’s Charitable Gift Annuities, a donor can receive guaranteed income for life along with significant tax benefits. Best of all, it provides another vehicle to give back to the community and support the Foundation’s work and mission. To have a proposal tailored for you, contact the Foundation at Sample Rates* (315) 782-7110. Age 55: 5% Age 65: Age 75: Age 85:

5.5% 6.4% 8%

*Rates per the American Council on Gift Annuities

Spirit of Philanthropy Award


he students, parents, teachers and staff of Watertown’s Sherman Elementary School were recently named recipient of the Foundation’s 2011 Spirit of Philanthropy Award. The award, first given last year, is presented to recognize and pay tribute to individuals and organizations whose achievements exemplify a commitment toward helping and inspiring others through the spirit of giving. The dedication shown by the school in making the Lucy A. Colello Playground a reality embodies the essence of this award. The award committee, comprised of T. Urling and Mabel Walker and Robert and Jean Sturtz, will present the award at the Foundation’s annual meeting in May.

Keeping a Classmate’s Memory Alive


ennifer M. Corbett died in 1991, fifteen months after being diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. At that time, members of the Watertown High School Class of 1993 raised funds to establish a scholarship fund in her memory. Since then, the fund has grown to over $30,000. As her classmates prepare for their 20th reunion in 2013, they have set a goal of raising an additional $20,000 to bring the fund to $50,000. This Jennifer M. Corbett would enable the awarding of two, $1,000 scholarships each year. A core group of Jennifer’s friends, in partnership with Jennifer’s family, are leading the effort, including Leigh Kennedy, Allison Villa, Julia Rizer-Clement, Sarah Bradham and Michelle Coulter-Lawrence. They are also spreading the word through a Facebook page. Gifts to help their endeavor can be made to: Northern New York Community Foundation, 120 Washington St., Suite 400, Watertown, NY 13601, with a designation for the Jennifer Corbett Rainbow Scholarship Fund. Donors will be listed in future editions of this newsletter. “The creation of the scholarship fund for Jennifer helped our high school class deal with our grief over Jenn’s death. As the 20th anniversary of her death approached, we thought it was the perfect time to reignite our fundraising activities. Our goal is to raise the $20,000 by our 20th reunion to ensure Jenn’s memory and spirit live on.” - Leigh A. Kennedy, DO

Northern New York

Community Foundation, Inc. 120 Washington Street • Suite 400 Watertown, New York 13601 (315) 782-7110 •

Enhancing Local Quality of Life D. Peter Van Eenenaam


s it has always been over the eons of history, the deep snows of another North Country winter gradually give way to the warm southerly breezes of spring. The snowdrops and purple scilla are already blooming, soon to be followed by the crocus, daffodil and tulip. The robin and cardinal have already found their nesting sites, the snow geese have already passed us by, and soon the deep woods will be filled with the song of the various wood warblers. Life goes on, as it always does up here in one of the most beautiful places in New York State. Just as life goes on, in its never-ending, always reliable cycle of the seasons, so does the work of the Northern New York Community Foundation. The influence of its mission ripples through our community continuously, day and night, week after week, month after month, season after season, year after year, for the past eighty-two years. Sometimes its effects are subtle, often barely noticed by most, yet still profound. This may include: behind the scenes expert managerial advice and financial assistance to a small, non-profit organization that saves it from bankruptcy, allowing it to continue providing its needed service to its constituents, keeping local food pantries supplied, providing winter hats, gloves, and

coats to under privileged school children, supporting the local Teen Center, the Volunteer Transportation Center, historical societies, small need-based non-profit and cultural organizations. These are some of the efforts that might go unrecognized by many, but continue to happen. The effect of millions of dollars in scholarship support the Foundation has provided our North Country students over the years might be difficult to measure, but we know its importance. Many who have received financial support have been able to successfully complete their education, return home, and become local leaders in business, medicine, law, and education, and in turn provide leadership, guidance, care, and education for the next generation of North Country students. Other times, the Foundation’s efforts are front and center, including supporting the renovations of Samaritan Medical Center, Lewis County General Hospital, Watertown and Carthage YMCA, North Country Children’s Clinic, the Clayton Opera House and many others. It has been a major facilitator of the Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization, the North Country Library System, Jefferson Community College, and many other important projects. I grew up in the North Country, attended the local schools, went away for professional training, and feel blessed returning here to raise my family in what I feel is a wonderful, nurturing environment, while enjoying the professional satisfaction of providing needed medical care for our community. Being raised here has given

me a unique perspective of the challenges of living here, as well as an understanding of the people of the North Country. Sitting on the board of directors of NNYCF has enhanced my understanding of the needs of this community, and opened my eyes to the numerous need-based, cultural and historic organizations that struggle daily to provide an enhanced living environment for us all. The generosity of the people of northern New York really shines through when one has the chance to watch it all working together from the perspective of the Foundation. It is with some sadness that my time with the board is coming to an end. But I know it is left in good hands, with a strong group of caring, compassionate, philanthropically-minded community leaders. The recent economic downturn has been very difficult for all of us, but the Foundation has been able to weather the storm, and continues on, as does life, in providing important services that affect us all. The Northern New York Community Foundation is just that, the foundation, or the “bedrock” of philanthropy for our community. The demonstrated service, stewardship, and stability over many years serves as testimony to its solid reputation as a force for good for all of us living in northern New York. This makes the Foundation an excellent vehicle for those who wish to provide a legacy of assisting the Foundation in continuing to fulfill its local philanthropic mission, and enhancing our local quality of life through the continued work of this important organization.

NNYCF Thoughtful Giving Spring 2011  

Northern New York Community Foundation Spring 2011 Newsletter

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